Nick Kyrgios finds it ‘hard to focus’ on tennis after assault allegation | Nick Kyrgios

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The tennis player Nick Kyrgios has admitted to struggling to focus after being accused of domestic abuse.

But the 27-year-old Australian refused to address the allegation in more detail, saying he had been gagged by his lawyers.

He would not confirm if he would attend court in Canberra next month after being summonsed to face a charge of assaulting a former girlfriend.

But the controversy did not stop Kyrgios from reaching the Wimbledon semi-finals on Wednesday after he defeated Chile’s Cristian Garín in straight sets.

In a typically animated performance on Court One, Kyrgios ranted and appeared to berate those in his players’ box, including his father, sister and girlfriend, Costeen Hatzi.

“After everything … I do expect more,” he shouted in the first set. “Something … something. There’s five of you. Five of you.”

In his post-match press conference, Kyrgios admitted to finding the past 24 hours difficult. “I’m only human,” he told reporters. “Obviously I read about it and obviously everyone else was asking questions. It was hard. It was hard to kind of just focus on the mission at hand.”

But he would not comment further, saying: “Obviously I have a lot of thoughts, a lot of things I want to say, kind of my side about it. Obviously I’ve been advised by my lawyers that I’m unable to say anything at this time.”

Kyrgios added that the allegation did not affect his performance as he reached the semi-finals of a grand slam for the first time. He faces Spain’s Rafael Nadal, the world No 4, on Friday.

Kyrgios’s ex-girlfriend, Ajla Tomljanović, the world No 44, also faced a Court One showdown on Wednesday, but was defeated by 17th-seeded Elena Rybakina.

In light of the abuse allegations, Tomljanović later faced questions from the press about her experience of being in a two-year relationship with Kyrgios.

The 29-year-old Australian said she was not aware of the reports, but when a journalist told how Kyrgios had been summonsed to court, she added: “It’s been a while since our relationship ended. Obviously I’ve always kept my relationship very private. I would like to keep it like that. I’m definitely against domestic violence. I hope it gets resolved. But, yeah, I mean, I haven’t had that experience with him.”

A domestic violence charity has called for Kyrgios to be banned from Wimbledon following the allegation which emerged on Tuesday.

Solace Women’s Aid said: “Wimbledon was comfortable banning players from Russia and Belarus in response to the war in Ukraine, so we see no reason why Wimbledon and the ATP [Association of Tennis Professionals] shouldn’t follow the lead of bodies like the US National Football League and ban tennis players facing charges of assault.”

Australian Capital Territory (ACT) policing confirmed on Tuesday that Kyrgios had been summonsed to face a charge in relation to an incident in Canberra last December.

“ACT policing can confirm a 27-year-old Watson man is scheduled to face the ACT magistrates court on 2 August in relation to one charge of common assault following an incident in December 2021,” a spokesperson said.

In a statement released later on Tuesday, Kyrgios’s lawyer Pierre Johannessen said: “At the present time, the allegations are not considered as fact by the court, and Mr Kyrgios is not considered charged with an offence until the first appearance.”

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